Tuesday, July 31, 2007


On being told that if she wanted to indulge in a loud Crying-For-Crying's-Sake tantrum, she needed to seek a room other than one containing her mother, Raina was seen heading to the closet, turning on the light and artistically bawling before the full-length mirror.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Half-Sleeved Half-Pint

Ever since we found out that we're having a baby boy, I've been busy digging in the closet for all of Raina's old clothes. Presently, my bedroom is lined with plastic bags of varying sizes filled with R's clothes to give away to all the neighborhood's little girls or to preggie mommies expecting baby girls or to AMVETS. So far, have given away just one -- some of R's 2T stuff -- and the mommy of the little girl I gave it too was astounded that the clothes were in such good shape.

One reason they are in good shape is because R always wears a bib when eating. But the biggest reason is Raina herself.

Ever since Raina turned 18 months old, I've been asking her what she wants to wear. I think it gives her a feeling of control over her life, plus it helps her make decisions. Raina took to it pretty quickly -- and I was glad about that. The downside? Raina would wear the SAME clothes over and over again. I didn't know I could get sooooo sick of seeing my daughter wear the same outfit every third day.

My first resort was to keep a longer gap between laundries. If something was dirty, she couldn't wear it. But even if I did laundry just once a week, it was tiresome to see the same clothes the very next week. She had a Monday outfit, a Tuesday outfit... one for every day of the week. Then I resorted to hiding some clothes that I just could not BEAR to see her in. But then, the whining would start.

A typical morning in our household:

Raina and I standing in front of her closet.

Raina: I want to wear that striped half-sleeve t-shirt with shorts.
Me: How about wearing a dress instead? You haven't worn that in so long.
Raina: No. I want to wear a half-sleeve t-shirt.
Me: (appealing to her vanity) But dresses look so cute on you!
Raina: Half-sleeve t-shirts look cute too. See, it looks so cute!
Me: How about a sleeveless t-shirt? You never wear those and you have so many of them.
Raina: No. I want to wear a half-sleeve t-shirt.
Me: OK. How about a skirt instead of those shorts? You never wear a skirt.
Raina: No. I want shorts!
Me: (Now resorting to blackmail) Raina, I am going to stop buying you any new clothes if you won't wear anything other than half-sleeve t-shirts.
Raina: But I want to wear half-sleeve t-shirts. I want new ones!
Me: (cunningly) Miss Cindy said she would really like to see you in a dress.
Raina: (thoughtfully) Maybe I'll wear a dress tomorrow.

And I have to be satisfied with that. Sometimes, that tomorrow never comes. When it does, she'll wear the SAME dress she always wears when she's in a conciliatory mood. It's like beating my head against a brick wall. But that's the whole point, I guess, to give her control. I just wish she wanted to wear what I wanted her to wear.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cool quote 2

Am presently reading Francoise Sagan's "The Painted Lady" -- a funny, heartbreaking book. Came across these lines mentioned right at the start, and wanted to share them:

"What importance can we attach to the things of this world? Friendship? It disappears when the one who is liked comes to grief, or when the one who likes becomes powerful. Love? It is deceived, fleeting, or guilty. Fame? You share it with mediocrity or crime. Fortune? Could that frivolity be called a blessing? All that remains are those so-called happy days which flow past unnoticed in the obscurity of domestic cares, leaving man with the desire neither to lose his life nor to begin it over."
--Chateaubriand, Vie de Rance

Friday, July 20, 2007

My 2 Cents Too

Cee Kay (my2centstoo.blogspot.com/ -- I can't figure out how to do the link thing on my mac) just did a wonderful post on people she admires and those she judges, and I agree with her so completely, it's hard to come up with some original points. But she wants me to give it a shot, so here's my 2 cents, folks -- first, the judgmental moi:

1. I tend to laugh at strangers who ask me what cars I own, how much a piece of jewellery is worth, how much income my husband brings in as measures of whether it's worth their while to further the acquaintance or not.

2. I look down on those who look down on those who are socially or economically inferior to them. I was taught at an early age to show a basic respect for all, and I look upon social snobs as appallingly ill-mannered and without class.

3. I dislike parents who hit their kids. I am not talking about an occasional tap on the butt for exceptionally bad behavior, but hard slaps that make kids cower. To me, it counts as domestic violence.

4. I judge others who pass judgments on people based on their race, nationality and sexual orientation. I am especially harsh on U.S. resident-Indians who do this, and then complain of racism when their bosses pass them over for a promotion.

5. I cannot stand those with a martyr complex. I grew up with one such person in my house, and am strongly of the opinion that you should make only those "sacrifices" which you can refrain from announcing to all and sundry who will listen and using them as leverage for sympathy.

6. I have a problem with those who publicly criticize their spouse and humiliate them. You have a problem with him/her, talk to them about it, not to the world.

7. I intensely dislike people who have no respect for privacy. It makes me see red.

Now, the admirable folks on my list:

1. I admire those who are content. It takes a special mindset to achieve peace of mind, one that requires a lot of effort.

2. I admire people who are aware of their duty toward those who are dependent on them -- and do it, even when it's often thankless.

3. I admire those who are focused and passionate about their life's work -- not for aggrandizing themselves, but for the pure joy and satisfaction it gives them.

4. I admire people who deal with frustration and stress in their life without constantly bitching to others. Life ain't a bed of roses for nobody.

5. I admire parents of developmentally challenged kids. I can't even begin to fathom their daily worries, frustrations, exhaustion...

6. I admire good writers.

7. I admire go-getters, but not those who go get by trampling all over someone else. I admire a strong character and conscience.

Well, that was easier than I thought!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Anatomy and Philosophy

"Mommy, what does Henry have on his pee-pee?"

So, it was finally here. The 3-year-old girl had commenced the study of a lifetime on What Makes Boys and Girls Different. I knew it was coming sooner or later -- just didn't realize it was going to be sooner. But I reacted pretty calmly, I think.

"Henry has a penis, baby."

"What's that?"

"All boys have penises for pee-pee. Like all girls have vaginas." Yeah, I'm big on calling a spade a spade.


"Because boys are different from girls."

"So Josh has a penis too? And Jordan has a penis too? And Hugo! And Owen!" she began a list of all the boys she currently knew. Glad we made that clear.

That was pretty easy. But it got me thinking on how I would reply to Raina when she came up with other inevitable questions -- like the one about God.

I've believed in the existence of God most of my life, even though my thinking mind (and scientific husband) played havoc with that belief. On the one hand, I well understood the Big Bang Theory and the randomness of our own life on earth. On the other hand, I just believed that everything happens for a reason, that there's good in all people, that there was something spiritual about feeling one with the world around us. But lately, believing all that just hasn't been adding up for me. Bad things happen to good people all the time. Some people are just born bad -- and will stay bad all their lives. And what does feeling one with nature have to do with a god at all?

These are just a few of gazillion thoughts that dwell in my mind, and I'm far from having any answers. But believing in God stops the questioning, I think.

How do I convey all these thoughts to my little girl? The U.S. is a very God-saturated country -- a Christian God at that. I think I'd like her to know that mankind doesn't have all the answers dealing with our existence, and believing in any god gives people's lives some meaning and purpose. It makes them accept the elements in their lives that's beyond their control. That although I believe all the gods are "equal" in a sense, most people believe their god is better than anyone else's and will try to change her mind if she believes in the "wrong" kind. Then I will tell her about her heritage -- the pantheon of Hindu gods and goddesses. I will encourage her questions and I will admit when I don't have the answers. And if when she grows up, she decides to believe in God or not, that will be her choice, and I will have to accept it.

When I write this all down, it doesn't seem that answering her about God would be that hard. And if I don't have any definite and satisfactory answers for her, I can at least pass on my questions.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Am feeling a little bummed out today. I took Raina to the pediatric opthalmologist this morning, and it looks like despite all the carrots my 3-year-old's so fond of eating, she's going to need glasses soon. This sucks sooooo bad! Both P and I are nearsighted -- in fact, my glasses favor a soda bottle in appearance -- and I have astigmatism. And it looks like R's got the early beginnings of both nearsightedness and astigmatism.

The doctor recommended that she get glasses in around 18 months. She won't even be 5 years old!

I got glasses when I was 7-8, and I hated them, hated them, hated them... I thought I had to be the ugliest, nerdiest-looking kid on Planet Earth. Then, I have a small snub nose, and everytime I would run and play, my glasses would slide down and I'd have to keep pushing them up. It made me self-conscious, so instead of playing, I'd bury my nose in the nearest book, which didn't improve the eyesight any.

The day I switched to contact lenses is among the happiest in my life -- and that was after 7 very long years.

The doctor said I could start talking to Raina about wearing glasses now, so that 18 months later, she'll be used to the idea. I think her mom is more in need of those 18 months to adjust her attitude towards them. I have to put aside all this silly baggage I am carrying around, so I can make wearing glasses sound cool to her, so she knows that she's still pretty cute, so she knows she can still run as fast as any other kid, so she doesn't become a social moron for the rest of her childhood like her mom.

I know, I know, it's a storm in a teacup, but if I blog about it, I can start dealing with it...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Raina's To-Do List

You remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait to become a grown-up for such random joys as wearing high heels and perfume? When you were a teenager and couldn't wait to get out of the house because your parents and siblings were, as usual, impossible to live with and driving you up the wall? And now, as a parent, I want to hold on tight to time because I'm so enjoying watching my girl grow up.

Raina, on the other hand, already has a list going of things she'll do when she grows up. Here are a few fun items on her To-Do-When-Grown-Up list:

1. Drink Diet Coke like her mom. Until then, she regularly feeds her baby doll Baby Diet Coke. Come to think of it, now that Coke has a vitamin version, it might be just a matter of time before it comes out with one that's for toddlers.

2. Wear lipstick and nail polish. Yep, I am one of those moms who doesn't let her preschooler "experiment with makeup." In fact, I can get shrieky about it and realize that I am beginning to sound like my own mom as each day goes by. Aarghhhh!

3. Walk by herself on the road. That's Raina's prime ambition to date.

4. Carry her baby brother. I don't have the heart to point out that when she's a grown-up, her baby brother may be a tad too big for her to hoist around like a bag of potatoes.

5. Have babies. While Raina seems to have understood that she's too small to have her own babies, she does like to say she has a pretend baby in her belly, who by some coincidence, is also due to make his appearance in October. The other day, I placed her hand on my belly so she could feel her brother jump -- he's turning out to be athetic unlike his lazy-ass mom. Then she insisted I reciprocate, saying her baby was moving too. So I played along, putting my hand on her belly and squealing appropriately. Her face just lit up.

She's the funniest thing I've ever met.